Park sets the Pace at Coffs

Park sets the Pace at Coffs

New South Wales’ amateur Hannah Park and Justine Dreher of France took advantage of the early morning conditions and share a one-shot lead at the Womens’ NSW Open at Coffs Harbour Golf Club today.

Park, from the Sydney suburb of St. Clair, shot a bogey-free seven-under-par 64 for a new course record in the benign conditions, while Dreher returned a two-under par 69 to go with her first round 67.

Park’s round featured seven birdies, four on the front and three on the back. The 17 year old also missed a makeble two-metre putt on the 17th which would have given her a 63.

“I’ve shot a bunch of course records,” the teenager said.

“I was just sinking everything out there today. The hole was like a vacuum; everything went in,” the teenager said.

Park, who has only played in three previous pro tournaments, said last week at Bonville and this week’s NSW Open are the first time she has played in two pro events back-to-back.

“Last week I made the cut which is my first pro event cut.

“I was pretty happy too, but I didn’t play that well on the last two days,” she smiled

Co-leader Justine Dreher had a rollercoaster round of two-under-par 69, that included four birdies, four bogeys and an eagle on the first hole, a driveable par four, where she made a putt from a metre and a half.

“I’m really happy with my game and the position that I’m in,” Dreher said.

The 25-year-old from Paris recorded her career-best finish of fifth in the 2016 New Zealand Open when she played with Lydia Ko in the final group on Sunday in her first tournament as a professional.

Overnight leaders, Manon Molle of france and Silvia Banon of Spain had a mixed afternoon as the wind and showers arrived late in the day.

Molle finished the day with an even-par 71 to remain at five under par, a shot behind the leaders at six under. She would have had a share of the lead as well, however, a final hole bogey proved costly.

“I would’ve been really satisfied with my day had I not bogied that last hole,” Manon said.

Molle’s day didn’t begin well either, with a double bogey, and bogey in her first three holes. The Frenchwoman settled, however, and got her round back on track soon after.

“I started really badly, I had a double on 11, I was pugged on the bunker. Then, on the next hole, I was in another bunker and it was unstoppable.

“I stayed patient all the way from there, I birdied the 15th then birdied the first (hole) and the third.

Alongside Molle in a tie for third is Thai golfer Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras, who added a two under par 69 to go with her first round 68 and Norways Marita Engzeluis who has posted rounds of 71 and 66.

In a tie for fifth at four under are a group of four, England’s Meghan MacLaren, Lydia Hall of Wales, Olivia Cowan of Germany and Camilla Lennarth of Sweden, while in ninth place at three under par are another six women including Australians Rebecca Artis, Sarah Kemp and Emily McLennan. 

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